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Valentino hires Visa executive to boost digital strategy

MILAN, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Italian fashion group Valentino has named a former Visa executive to a newly created role as chief of customer relations and digital to help the brand attract more online business.

Enzo Quarenghi, who before becoming Visa’s country manager for Italy in 2019 held senior positions at rival American Express, is an expert in digital innovation and customer experience, Valentino said in a statement on Monday.

He starts in his new role as chief client officer and digital acquisition on Jan. 12.

Quarenghi joins Valentino a few months after the appointment of former Gucci executive Jacopo Venturini at the helm of the luxury group, which is controlled by Qatari investment vehicle Mayhoola.

Under Venturini’s predecessor, Stefano Sassi, the label went through a decade-long, successful turnaround following the retirement of its founder and world-famous designer Valentino Garavani. It had 1.2 billion euros ($1.46 billion) in revenues in 2019.

However, the coronavirus crisis caused an unprecedented drop in sales for the luxury industry last year, forcing brands to review and strengthen their online strategy after they had to temporarily shut physical stores.

Consultancy Bain estimates that the share of luxury goods purchases made online doubled to 23% last year and will exceed 30% of total sales in 2025.

Valentino’s e-commerce site is currently managed by third party, Richemont’s online shopping platform Yoox Net A Porter. ($1 = 0.8225 euros) (Reporting by Claudia Cristoferi, editing by Silvia Aloisi and Jane Merriman)

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